Interracial marriages at an all-time high (in the US) – I’m only surprised that the % is so low

Interracial marriages at an all-time high, study says

By Stephanie Chen, CNN
June 4, 2010 3:29 p.m. EDT
Priya Merrill, 27, and husband Andrew Merrill, 30, married in  August. They are part of a growing trend of interracial marriages.
Priya Merrill, 27, and husband Andrew Merrill, 30, married in August. They are part of a growing trend of interracial marriages.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • About one in seven marriages are interracial or interethnic, according to a new Pew study
  • Pew Center: Asians and Hispanics are most likely to marry outside of their race
  • In 2008, African-Americans 3 times more likely to marry outside race, compared with 1980
  • Americans, particularly Millennials, are more accepting of interracial relationships

Apparently, race is mattering less these days, say researchers at the Pew Research Center, who report that nearly one out of seven new marriages in the U.S. is interracial or interethnic. The report released Friday, which interviewed couples married for less than a year, found racial lines are blurring as more people choose to marry outside their race.

“From what we can tell, this is the highest [percentage of interracial marriage] it has ever been,” said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer for the Pew Research Center.

He said interracial marriages have soared since the 1980s. About 6.8 percent of newly married couples reported marrying outside their race or ethnicity in 1980. That figure jumped to about 14.6 percent in the Pew report released this week, which surveyed newlyweds in 2008.

I’m only surprised that the numbers are so low.

To say that race matters less is a little disingenuous. Race always matters. We see distinctions. Are brains are discrimination machines. That is how we evolved (and survived). Two things are changing more: (1) schools and workplaces are more diverse and (2) related to number 1, distinctions are decreasing. With #2, I mean that there is more cultural blended (assimilation is not really the right term). People share background experiences in education, news, TV, movies, music, and so forth. This shared background creates commonalities that didn’t exist in years past. This blending of the cultures means that family decision-makers are less inclined to object.

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